DECEMBER 14, 1863.- Skirmish at Caddo Mill, Ark.
Report of Lieutenant Colonel Owen A. Bassett, Second Kansas Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND KANSAS CAVALRY,
Waldron, Ark., December 16, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, on the 13th instant, I sent Lieutenant [P.] Cosgrove, Company G, and Lieutenant [B. B.] Mitchell, Company K, with 40 men of the Second Kansas Cavalry, to Caddo Gap, and, having returned, Lieutenant Cosgrove reports:
That on Sunday morning, at 9 o'clock, he left Waldron, and proceeded south 7 miles out from this place, taking the right-hand road, and, having crossed Fourche la Fave, took the left-hand road (known as the Texas road), and bivouacked between Fourche la Fave and Ouachita, 30 miles from Waldron. Monday, crossed Ouachita and South Fork at McConnell's Mill, and there learned that there had been a force (detachment from Shelby) there the night before, and proceeded on to Farrar's Mill, on Caddo, reaching that place at sundown. There learned that a party of 15 men were half an hour ahead of him. He pushed on as rapidly as possible 7 miles, and came upon a camp in the woods half a mile from Caddo Mill; charged upon the camp, killed 2 and wounded 1 at least; captured 1 prisoner, 8 negroes, 3 wagons, 6 mules, 6 horses, and a number of worthless arms. It was dark, the woods thick and bushy, and most of the men made their escape. Made a bonfire of the plunder. Brought away 1 wagon, and returned to Farrar's Mill and fed, having traveled 42 miles. Started again about 2 a. m. Tuesday, and reached Mount Ida at daylight, and fed. Marched again at 8 a. m. on the road leading to Waldron, and bivouacked in Fourche la Fave Valley, 38 miles from Farrar's Mill. Started this morning at 8 o'clock, and arrived here at 4 p. m.; 20 miles. Total distance marched, 139 miles.
Lieutenant Cosgrove learned that on Friday (the day I left Caddo Gap) a scout came up the road as far as Farrar's Mill, and returned the same day, claiming to have 200 men, and he could not ascertain that there had been any other party up from the south since that day. He learned also that Lieutenant [E. S.] Stover, who had the skirmish as reported in my letter of the 8th instant, killed 3 men. One of the men killed by Lieutenant Cosgrove was Captain Daniels.
Lieutenants Cosgrove and Mitchell were sent without rations. I was unable to furnish even salt for their fresh meat, which latter article constituted their entire subsistence, and they state to me that they found only enough corn to feed their animals four times.
I consider them and their men entitled [to praise] for the manner in which they performed their duty.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
OWN A. BASSETT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of the Frontier.